I find the self-designated “anti-imperialist” left weak on leftism, based as it is on the plain lie of there being an anti-imperialist dynamic within either Ghadafi’s Lybia or Assad’s Syria that somehow makes these Stalinist systems worthy of preservation at all cost.
The Russian/Chinese defense of the Assad regime can only make sense in the global capitalist context, one side of which the “left wing communists” of the internet ignore entirely on the basis that Gadhafi, Assad, Iran, Russia and China are the nouveau riche, rather than old money.
Imperialism is the foundation of the world’s global capitalist prison, and nationalism represents the steel bars blocking the exits. The only “sides” in this formulation are those who are jailed versus those who build and operate the prisons.
The escape routes for the jailed are through the exits, which are barred by the repressive state formations defending the imperialist ruling classes that control in each of the G-20 states, and their second-tier client states, which include Iran, Libya and Syria.
As always, when a messy reality collides with the phony moral clarity of the blogosphere, the tendency is for a black hat/white hat “West/Non-West” dichotomy to take root, which becomes dishonestly obscured as a battle against imperialism.
Russia seeks an end to the Arab Spring in Syria because the demands of internet-connected, repressed populaces across the world are growing louder in an increasingly (though still barely perceptible) internationalist, anti-capitalist direction, which threaten all repressive state formations, including the US, Russia, China and their client state trading partners.
Plainly, there is not a drop of altruism behind the Russian/Chinese vetoes or their subsequent diplomatic smokescreens. The Russians are concerned with the survival of Assad only to the extent that their own survival is threatened by the increased organisation of popular discontent within their own borders.
The obvious role of state media propaganda is confirmed by the “anti-imperialist” imperialist left’s reliance on pure hokum, such as that delivered by BRICs fan boi Pepe Escobar, Phillip Giraldi’s unsourced piece in American Conservative Magazine, the bourgeois bleatings of Russian state media propagandist Lizzie Phelan, and the aging, white brigades of the muddled ex-neocons reinvented as paleo cons over at Counterpunch.
If there is any link between Libya and Syria, it is mainly in the reliance upon false memes promoted by certain “anti-imperialist” imperialists, as we saw heavily expoited with respect to Libya: “resource nationalism,” “Gadhafi the socialist man of the people,” as examples, which were easily shown upon inspection to be purely fictive rationalisations created by regime sympathisers in support of the insupportable.